Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Actually, there was a second fall. A month after Figero first sent me flying, I decided to try again. I rationalized all the first missteps -- his and mine. There were too many distractions then. This time would be different. I was wrong. Instantly, he reared again, and I decided to exit. I rolled off him and hit the ground rolling. No damage, this time, not to my body anyway. But faith in myself and in him evaporated. From then on, I rode only with someone else and then only with a line attached to his halter. Three years of that taught neither of us anything. It wasn't fun either.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Taught by a Horse

I first met Figero in the summer of 2005. A gorgious chestnut Arabian, just two years old and full of spunk. Every horseperson I knew said, "Don't get a horse that young. Especially an Arabian."
I didn't listen. I remembered all the riding I did as a kid and all the dreams I had of owning a horse. What was there to fear? "Fig" is now six years old and he and I have both learned how much there is to fear.
I learned quickly. I tried to mount him one afternoon when he was still just green-broke and before I could get my foot in the stirrup, I was flying. The landing didn't break any bones, but the tissue and muscle damage took months to heal. My thigh is still numb.
Fig didn't have to learn fear. As a herd animal, that came naturally. But, despite his sweet temperament, he didn't learn confidence or trust either. And that's the way it's been for four years.